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San Antonio Life Sciences Institute awards $750,000 to innovators

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(Aug. 20, 2014) -- The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) today announced the awarding of more than $750,000 in grants through the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute (SALSI) Innovation Challenge.

Launched in 2003, SALSI is a model of how a general academic institution (UTSA) and an academic health science center join forces for greater research and graduate education.

The Innovation Challenge funds collaborative studies, with a focus on public health issues and diseases of global impact. Funding will support early and conceptual stages of project development. Awardees in this grant cycle are studying immunity, microorganisms and cancer.

The following one-year awards begin Sept. 1:

"Interrogating the Bacterial Glycome: Assignment of Specific Glycan Structure to Elements of the Innate Immune Response"
James Chambers, Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Peter Dube, Ph.D., UTHSCSA Associate Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Glycomics is the study of the biological role of carbohydrates. This inaugural collaborative effort between UTSA and the Health Science Center is the first step in establishing and nurturing this emerging area of research in San Antonio.

"Challenging the Morphology-Virulence Paradigm in Pathogenic Candida Species"
Jose Lopez-Ribot, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology
David Kadosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Candidiasis, the fourth leading cause of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in the United States, is a disease of global impact. Currently, only three major classes of antifungals are available to treat the disease. This research will provide greater insight into the relationship between morphology and virulence in Candida species and suggest new and more effective strategies for the treatment of candidiasis.

"Establishment of Pancreatic Microenvironment Ex Vivo to Grow and Preserve Pancreatic Islets"
Joo L. Ong, Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering
Xiao-Dong Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry Department of Comprehensive Dentistry

Diabetes is a major challenge for the national and global public health community in the 21st century. In Texas, the incidence of diabetes is two to three times higher than the national average. Current treatment for diabetes involves therapies and management strategies for the disease but does not offer cures or reversals of complications. Ong and Chen's research hopes to further bolster insulin independence for Type I diabetes through improved allogeneic islet transplantation.

"Cancer Impairs Macrophage Function"
Floyd Wormley, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $74,593
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology
Carlos Orihuela, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $93,462
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. In cancer patients, infections are the leading immediate cause of death. Yet little research has focused on why individuals with cancer are more susceptible to infection. This is an important lapse that, if addressed, may reduce patient suffering, facilitate the administration of potentially curative therapeutics, and prolong survival.

The 77th Legislature created SALSI by passing House Bill 1716, authored by former Rep. Robert Puente and sponsored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. The goal was to develop synergies in research and education that would exceed the combined efforts of the Health Science Center and UTSA if each were acting alone.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country's leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university's schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways "We Make Lives Better," visit the UTHSCSA website.

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.

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Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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UTSA's Mission

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